We visited Annapolis, MD the other day (about 30 miles east of DC) and saw the foremast of the USS Maine on display on the grounds of the US Naval Academy. (The main mast is at the Arlington National Cemetery.)
The sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898 and the death of its American crewmembers (266, according to one estimate) led to the Spanish-American War. “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!” was then the rallying cry of the press and the agitated American public.
By May 1, 1898 George Dewey was in the Philippines to lead the Asiatic Squadron against the Spanish Armada at the Battle of Manila Bay.
And the rest, once again, is history.
Photo Credit: The POPDC Project Archives